Rome has confirmed it will be able to host the opening ceremony and first match of Euro 2020 after Italian authorities agreed to a plan that would allow at least 18,000 fans to attend games at the Stadio Olimpico.
The Italian capital was one of four host cities granted extra time by UEFA last week to provide additional information of their plans for Euro 2020 and give assurances fans would be able to attend.
Sports Minister Valentina Vezzali has now confirmed in writing that it will commit to having at least 25-per-cent capacity at the 72,000-seat Stadio Olimpico – which would be around 18,000 spectators – for the four scheduled Euro 2020 games, beginning on June 11.
A delighted Italian federation president Gabriele Gravina said: “Italy and Rome are there! The OK from the Government to the presence of the public in the matches in Rome for Euro 2020 represents splendid news that we will immediately transmit to UEFA.
“The message that the executive is sending to the country is one of great confidence and extraordinary vision.
“I would like to thank President Draghi and his Government, the Minister of Health Speranza, the city of Rome, with which we collaborate in a synergistic way, but above all Undersecretary Vezzali who immediately expressed her full support for the realisation of this great event and which in a few days has shown quality and determination by unlocking such an important dossier.”
Rome will host Italy’s group games against Turkey, Switzerland and Wales, as well as a quarter final.
“This result isn’t just for football, but all of Italian sport,” Minister Vezzali told news agency ANSA.
“It’s not opening a stadium, but a symbolic moment. It is the light at the end of the tunnel. We hope that June 11 can be the culminating moment of a process of rebirth for the entire sporting movement.
“We are also working to reopen sport, which is the sixth Italian industry. The gyms, swimming pools and all sporting centres are crucial for the mental and physical health of Italians.”
The decision to allow fans to attend the Stadio Olimpico was welcomed by Serie A clubs, who met for a shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday.
Paolo Dal Pino, the president of the Lega Serie A, said clubs want fans to return to league games as soon as possible with capacities to increase between now and the end of the season on May 23 – just two weeks before Euro 2020 starts.
“I welcome the Government’s decision to have the Olympic Stadium in Rome on the occasion of the next European Championship, a percentage of fans of 25 per cent of the capacity,” said Dal Pino.
“It is an important signal for the country, an injection of confidence and a return to normality that we hope will involve our meetings as soon as possible.
“The Lega Serie A has already prepared a detailed protocol for a year to reopen the facilities to the public, in total safety and protection for the fan, with gradually increasing percentages.
“We expect that from the next matches we will be able to return to host at least 1,000 spectators, a number equal to that with which we opened the season and able to guarantee ample spacing in outdoor facilities.
“By monitoring the progress of the pandemic, infections and vaccinations, I am also certain that for the last rounds of the championship Serie A can have stadium opening percentages identical to those guaranteed for European matches.”
Last week, eight of the 12 Euro 2020 host cities confirmed that spectators would be able to attend matches at their stadia.
Bilbao in Spain, Dublin in Ireland and Munich in Germany have until Monday (April 19) to verify that fans will be allowed or risk having their matches switched to other venues. UEFA said that the quartet must provide additional information on their plans, adding that final decisions will be made on that date regarding the staging of matches in those four venues.
St. Petersburg (Gazprom Arena) has confirmed a capacity of 50%, with the possibility of increasing the capacity by end of April, while Budapest (Puskás Aréna) is aiming to host spectators at full capacity, subject to spectators fulfilling strict stadium entry requirements.
Baku (Olympic Stadium) has confirmed a capacity of 50%, with the travelling fans of the participating teams required to present a negative COVID-19 test result to enter Azerbaijan.
Amsterdam (Johan Cruijff ArenA), Bucharest (National Arena), Copenhagen (Parken Stadium) and Glasgow (Hampden Park) have confirmed a capacity of 25%-33%, with Amsterdam, Bucharest and Copenhagen keeping open the option to raise their capacities at the end of April, depending on the development of their mass testing programmes and general health conditions.
London, whose Wembley Stadium will be the main venue with seven games, has confirmed a minimum capacity of 25% for the three group matches and Round of 16 match and is hoping to confirm a higher capacity for the semi-finals and final in early July.